A Belfast-based movie producer named George Clarke has floated a theory that a time traveler may have sneaked into footage of a 1928 Charlie Chaplin film premiere. That proposition may sound a little preposterous according to the present-day world's understanding of space-time and relativity. Nevertheless, we at the MTV Movies Blog do have some personal heroes who have traveled through time for the sake of film, and this seemed like as good a time as any to list them off for you.
Marty McFly: "Back to the Future" (1985)
The film spawned 1.21 gigawatts(!) worth of quotable lines and made a box-office star out of its young Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox), who had to fend off attacks by badass bully Biff and sexual advances from his mom Lorraine in order to ensure that his family wasn't wiped from the face of the Earth. Two words: "Great Scott!"
Bill and Ted: "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure" (1989)
Keanu Reeves thinks he knows how to make a new Bill and Ted film work, and the last two times he got together to play air guitar and surf through time with Alex Winter, it worked out pretty well. They've battled the Grim Reaper, collected a brain trust of famous historical figures and executed wacky hijinks, so with any luck we won't have to travel too far into the future to start discussing the "Bill and Ted Trilogy."
H. George Wells: "The Time Machine" (1960)
Years before Guy Pearce stepped into the story first told by H.G. Wells in 1895, Rod Taylor challenged the morlocks and tried to help the eloi in what can probably be considered the definitive cinematic time-travel story. Even with age, the special effects still seem charming, and Taylor played as human a hero as you'll see in theaters today.
Colonel George Taylor: "Planet of the Apes" (1968)
The DVD covers at your local Best Buys and Blockbusters sport the iconic shot of the Statue of Liberty that Charlton Heston's character saw in the shocking beach scene from "Planet of the Apes," so hopefully we aren't spoiling anything here by including him on this list.
The Hot Tub Guys: "Hot Tub Time Machine" (2010)
Cinema has its vintage time-traveling icons, and it also has its modern ones. John Cusack, Clark Duke, Craig Robinson and Rob Corddry definitely earned that status in their adventure back through the decades in "Hot Tub Time Machine." Their voyage to 1986 put Alf, Michael Jackson and other aspects of our culture into perspective; but most importantly, it was hilarious.
James T. Kirk, Spock and Whales: "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home" (1986)
In the world of sci-fi movies, few men tower with legacies as awe-inspiring as Kirk and Spock. Few time travelers have been as large as their time-traveling companions George and Gracie from Earth's past, however. In order to answer a probe that was threatening existence on their home planet, the pair of Starfleet officers has to go back in time and find some whales; and thank goodness they did, or sci-fi convention-goers today would have far fewer punchlines to exchanges.
Who are your favorite cinematic time travelers? Let us know in the comments and on Twitter!